Councillors resign over blogger attacks-

Somerton town councillors resigned “en masse” in protest at a barrage of criticism from an internet blogger.

Some 11 members of Somerton Town Council’s complement of 15 stepped down on Tuesday.

The walkout came after blogger Niall Connolly branded some members “jackasses” and referred to one leaflet as being “like a Nazi call to arms”.

A motion was then proposed that members step down, citing “impossible working conditions”.

There were a 11 resignations, with one “sympathy” walkout and another member going on holiday.

Councillor Ian Neale walked out but did not resign, fearing that funding for four projects he was working on might be lost.

Mr Neale said the comments on the blog, at, were “probably the catalyst” for the walkout, although he had only heard of Connolly’s outspoken work from others.

He said: “My fellow councillors took great exception to it. The undermining was precipitated by the fact that Mr Connolly wanted information from the council that he felt was being kept covert.

“He comes to meetings, takes copious notes then goes back to his computer and makes criticisms.”

Cannabis row explodes again who is right? i have just gone on to extra strength anadins should i be worried?


Skunk: considered more powerful than normal cannabisSkunk: considered more powerful than normal cannabis

Thursday, 29, Oct 2009 10:03

By staff

The government’s chief drug advisor has gone to war against the Home Office, in the latest episode of a simmering row between experts and the government.

Professor David Nutt, of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, said cannabis did not cause major health problems and should have remained a class C drug.

He also repeated previous comments about ecstasy – that it is less dangerous than riding a horse – and said those who wished for the drug to be downgraded to class B had already won the argument.

In a wide ranging attack, he also said former home secretary Jacqui Smith “devalued” the concept of scientific research. The comment is a reference to the government’s decision to return cannabis to class B status despite all the medical and official advice pointing against it.

Comment: Lying to kids is the first lesson of politics

The Home Office has distanced itself from his views.

Prof Nutt took aim at the way the debate around the reclassification of cannabis had centred on its ability to prompt schizophrenic episodes in some users.

But he claimed the risk was low, and that despite wide usage of the higher strength cannabis for over a decade there had been no discernable upswing in schizophrenic episodes.

He also quoted research which “estimates that, to prevent one episode of schizophrenia, we would need to stop about 5,000 men aged 20 to 25 years from ever using the drug”.

Prof Nutt said: “We have to accept young people like to experiment – with drugs and other potentially harmful activities – and what we should be doing in all of this is to protect them from harm at this stage of their lives.

“We therefore have to provide more accurate and credible information. If you think that scaring kids will stop them using, you are probably wrong.”

Prof Nutt made the comments during a lecture at King College.

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne welcomed his comments.

“Professor Nutt is right to suggest that there needs to be a full and frank debate about drug abuse without resorting to moral hysteria,” he said.

“The best way to reduce the harm drugs cause to society is to base policy on facts, not as a method of political posturing.”

Jacqui Smith right to say MPs caught up in expenses scandal shouldn’t become Lords-So Hazel will not be going then?

Jacqui Smith has admitted what the public has known all along. Her reputation has been shattered by her dodgy expenses claims.

Her husband’s blue movies may have been an “innocent” mistake but she should have had more sense than to claim that a bedroom at her sister’s house was her main home.

Ms Smith is right to say she and others disgraced by the expenses scandal don’t deserve a seat in the Lords.

Voters will be disgusted if any MP caught abusing allowances ends up cloaked in ermine.